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Sidetracks & Detours present PASS IT ON 51 Sunday Supplement 5 5 2024

Sidetracks & Detours



Sunday Supplement 5 5 2024

Hello. Here we are again, returned from this week´s searching of sidetracks and detours for the arts news we have posted on to our blog every day. In case you missed anything, here´s a recap We began by learning why Willie Nelson´s old guitar is called Trigger, before becoming one of many voices welcoming Lavery, a hot new name on the jazz scene. We then crossed to the other side to hear T Bone Burnett before flying over to the UK to see if the rumours were true about the re-gentrification of the very ordinary Manchester overspill village I grew up in. The rumours were true but no blue plaques have been installed to say I ever lived there! Nevertheless we returned home early this morning with a bag full of books about Manchester and its townships and people, and  you don´t need us to tell you we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf. In fact we took a day off yesterday to see how the football paned out on the telly, but, we are confident that there is plenty more for you to read in today´s PASS IT ON supplement.


Researching History


Stepping Out With Care:  essay  by Michael Higgins


100 years of Simon & Schuster

book reviews from newsletter

following festivals


with Alfred Michael

Live Music In Portsmouth-Menuhin Room Concert Series


preview by Newsletter

Live Music


Information by newsletter

Live Jazz Music at The Forge, Basingstoke

JOE WEBB/WILL SACH DUO  Sunday 19 5 2024

ANTONIO FORCIONE: Friday 24 May  7:45pm

MARTIN TAYLOR Friday 31 May  7:45pm


Kurt Weill and the American Songbook 9 5 24

Previews by Jazz In Reading

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward

DAVID MALLET & Westhoughton Folk Club

by Peter Pearson

Island Insights


A concert review by Norman Warwick



Researching History


Stepping Out With Care:  essay  by Michael Higgins

Last week I touched on the historicity, or otherwise, of folk song and folk fiction. I partly reviewed the late folk singer –songwriter  Ted Edward’s re-issued novel Peterloo, based on historical characters and their part in the military dispersal of the famous reform meeting in Manchester in 1819. I was rather tongue in cheek about historical errors in traditional and modern folksong as well as my own complicity in composing tunes for re-discovered, or hitherto tuneless, archive folk lyrics.  How authentic to past times are they? And can we moderns really appreciate them in the sense originally intended?

This week I turn to dance as I am currently writing a history of the Royton Morris Dancers, who until 1986 had had a known run of some 90-odd years and at least a hundred and ten if newspaper reports are to be added. I spoke to old dancers in the 1970s when I was by comparison to them very young indeed and amassed a large newspaper archive collected up to the mid 1980s when circumstances called a halt to both research and dancing. I have hardly looked at my vast notes since then, save to delve into them at the behest of other researchers and writers on the Oldham and South East Lancashire style of dancing.

Finally I have collected these notes, notebooks, loose paper scribbling and full foolscap handwriting challenges made all those years ago. In them emerges a story of the local Morris Dance stretching back into the late 18th century when all the local towns and villages round Manchester celebrated a local holiday called the Wakes. Each parish church celebrated its patron saint’s day or  at least its dedication day with a two or three day holiday each year, in an annual procession to  church to distribute fresh rushes round the floors as a carpet to old earth or stone floors. Carts were bedecked with a pyramid of rushes formed into an upturned nave or pyramid, sat upon by a ‘moses’ or ‘chairman’ and pulled by human male horses bedecked in finery. The whole lot was preceded by ‘morris dancers’ either yoked as horses or dancing freely in front. Local gentry loaned watches and silverware to decorate the white ‘pack sheet’ covering the front face of the rush pyramid and each hamlet’s procession party stopped at local gentry houses and inns to show off all the contributions. Here the Morris dancers would dance, having usually been trained by a local ‘old stager’ who knew his trade.

Thanks to the vagaries of local newspaper reporters we have a glimpse of these communities and their dancers from time to time.  Hollinwood and Failsworth  (between Oldham and Manchester) loom large in early reporting. The Hollinwood dancers are recorded as celebrating the first local wakes after the Battle of Waterloo and ending of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Indeed Hollinwood dancers are remarked on in later years in the 1840s, and are described as having three generations of dancers in them from the Scholes family, their leader, a grandfather of 72 years, his son aged 42 and his grandson aged twenty. They wore red plush velvet breeches and one of their number, who later lived in Oldham, was strikingly known by the moniker ‘red breeches’. They were subsidised by the Gee family of a local mill and exhibited their flower bedecked hats every Wakes in the Crown and Mitre Inn.

a typical rushcart sketched by Brierkley

But Failsworth too has had a good run of Morris Dancers, as has adjacent Moston, thanks to the writings of local dialect writer Ben Brierley, who recalled his own useful days learning the dance in Hollinwood and Failsworth and the efforts of old stager ‘Owd Crimp’ to train them.  Brierly once staged a Morris dance at one of his theatrical  performances in later years. Failsworth used to share the task of rushcart building with three other villages in the parish, one of these being Moston which also had a well publicised procession and set of dancers, in the form of young men and a reed or brass band.

Further north east toward Oldham the new militia wave of fife and drum bands soon took over the Wakes music and in Oldham itself one public house, the Volunteer Inn at Bardsley Brow (George Street) demonstrated the finest rushcart and set of dancers in the area for over twenty years after 1846. Newspaper reports of the 1850s and 60s describe the Bardsley Brow Morris Dancers’weeks of training at the pub beforehand under the watchful eye of ‘Donty’ who led the dancers and the rushcart procession from his Pub on Wakes Monday on an all day tour of the town. That lasted from 9 AM to eight in the evening when a meal was prepared for the tired and hungry dancers to sit down to. During the day the cart and dancers often went their separate ways, joining as and when the attraction of more crowds demanded it. The set was large with 32 male dancers dancing ‘contre-dances run mad’ while ‘trying to tie their legs in knots’   They  wore wide-awake hats bedecked with artificial flowers and feathers, white shirts with coloured shoulder sashes and ribbons, with zig-zag coloured ‘vandykes’ sown into the sides of their trouser legs. They twirled rolled and beribboned hankies in their hands – undoubtedly the traditional covered raw cotton ‘slings’ or ‘thrums’ used in Failsworth and Hollinwood.

That was in the days when the new railways brought in sightseers by train from Manchester to then rural Oldham. They came to see the rushcart parades (as many as 15 carts and the dancers),  in a custom which had died out in Manchester.  But after the lean years of the cotton famine in the 1860s and railway expansion with cheap excursion tickets the local Wakes changed from a showy local holiday to a soon to be familiar seaside holiday . Working hours improved and a two day holiday eventually was extended to a week.  The whole area east of Manchester grew in housebuilding as more and more cotton mills were built and rush growing areas were drained.  By the 1890s the rush carts were only occasionally built for audiences too poor to travel away. Their Morris Dancers were far less in number but they did survive as street entertainers from time to time, both at home, and, like their audiences, going away to the seaside and the richer holiday crowds on the pier and sea promenades.  And it is in the 1890s that my personal accounts, given by old men to me eighty years later, that my oral history of the time begins. 

The families that trained the late Victorian Royton team had by this time adopted decorated cricket style caps, but still wore the neck beads mentioned by Ben Brierley in his youthful dancing days of the 1830s, ribbons, sashes, cotton rope slings and bell -festooned dancing clogs. But the rushcarts had gone and the dancers were slimmed down to eight side dancers and two centres. The music by this time was provided by a concertina band with side and bass drums. And this is the era of folk dance and song collectors in the wake of Cecil Sharp – John Graham  by 1911 and Maud Karpeles by 1930 (when their dance notations were published). Both notations came largely from the Coleman family who trained the dancers both of Royton and Faislworth (Michael and his brother James).  The latter, grudgingly, gave a basic version of the dance performed in Royton before the Great War but this version was not really how I learnt it from the old dancers. The former, badly notated, was a very confused basic set of figures mixed in from dancers in Wigan and Godley Hill as well as the steps and figures used my Michael Coleman in Failsworth.  Comparing folk dance enthusiasts’ notes with how a dance was or is actually performed is a perennial conundrum.  What makes this worse for me is John Graham’s observation that Coleman had abandoned some traditional features to ‘popularise’ the dance for young boys.  This seems to have been Graham’s world for he was an outlier for  Mary Neal’s  Esperance club which sought Morris and folk dances for the therapeutic training of young girls in London, the view disavowed by Sharp, who believed dances traditionally performed by men and boys should be revived as a male sphere and in as much a traditional setting as possible. 

Godley Hill MM (1882)

However, looking over my old notes in half a dozen boxes and folders I find reference to an old dancer I met in Ashton Under Lyne in the seventies who had danced with the Godley Hill Morris Dancers in the Hyde area south east of Manchester before the Great War and at the time John Graham had visited the area. Graham and mixed figures taken from the dancing Godly Hill Team with those taken from dancers in Wigan and Failsworth.  Mr Heginbotham lamented the decline of the rushcarts and the loss of male dancers to girl imitators in carnivals of the 1930s and after.  He reckoned the girls had ruined the dance. I find in my notes that I visited him a further two times and wrote down what he told me about the Godley Hill Dance. As in Graham’s brief description there was a ‘ Long Morris’, ‘chain’ , a ‘caper over’ ‘ the reel’  etc. And as in revivalist dance teams who got the dance from girls of the 1930s there are similarities but also additions and different nomenclature. There is a ‘stepping’ figure followed by The Reel, The Chain, Cross Corners, Swing Partners with various sub figures such as ‘centres’.  He also described to me how to swig the ‘tipper-ups’ the hand held sticks with ribbons attached that also ‘danced’ in the air while the shoes stepped gaily over the ground. But as he last danced in 1919 was he was remembering what seemed to me a long time in the past. Was his recollection right? And after all these years could I now figure out a dance routine from my notes?

The Godley Hill team formerly danced accompanying the rush carts but gained fame by being a staple of the newly created carnival and display days at Knutsford from the 1880s. They wore flowered hats, knee breeches and sashes but danced in shoes and with hand held sticks called tipper-ups. This style of dancing was far removed from the Oldham, Royton, Failsworth style and I never considered teaching the dance Mr Heginbothom so kindly gave to me all those years ago. Now I have once again opened my old research folders I still wonder what to do with his story.

In a modern world where the folk and Morris dancing boom of the 1970s has very much slightly faded in the north West of England, and where even then start-up teams such as Saddleworth to the east of Oldham were forced to invent their own dances due to lack of local dance heritage, it seems such a shame for a real dancing history to die out.  But then if, as John Graham says in his 1911 book that certain ‘morrisers’ of his  day were forced to ‘modernise’ the dance in order to keep it alive, how much of Morris Dancing was actually ‘traditional’ in the first place. Did the teachers of old such as  old ‘Crimp’, Mr Scholes and ‘Donty of Failsworth, Hollinwood and Oldham especially modernise their dance from time to time?  And year on year did enterprising champions create something new? Or, as Mr Heginbotham of Godley told me, did dance instructors allow accidental mistakes approved of by their Wakes audiences approve of these accidental changes and sanction them as ‘traditional’? 

As in the folks song world, traditionalists such as myself will always grapple with modernisers. But Unlike folk-sang, dancers tend to take these things seriously and try not to ‘put a step wrong’.  Now I have to write up my history of the Royton Dancers with more care than usual, given the Pandora’s Box that has opened up in my old notes.


100 years of Simon & Schuster

book reviews from newsletter

A century ago, Richard Simon and Max Schuster founded a small publishing company. Their first titles were crossword puzzle books, but they quickly moved to a broad range of popular titles, always dedicated to introducing their authors’ books to the most readers. 

Today, Simon & Schuster is the largest independent trade publisher of adult and children’s books, with a legacy of distinguished award winners, breakout bestsellers, and literary gems in every genre. 

We join the 100th anniversary celebrations by signalling three books that most interest us among their current new issues.

Kill For Me, Kill For You: a novel by Steve Cavanagh

Steve Cavanagh (left) is the bestselling and award-winning author of several books, including the Eddie Flynn series and Kill for Me, Kill for You. A former lawyer, he was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he still lives. 

For fans of The Silent Patient and Gone Girl, ¨this is a razor-sharp and Hitchcock-inspired psychological thriller about two ordinary women who make a dangerous pact to take revenge for each other after being pushed to the brink.

One dark evening on New York City’s Upper West Side, two strangers meet by chance. Over drinks, Amanda and Wendy realize they have much in common, especially loneliness and an intense desire for revenge against the men who destroyed their families. As they talk into the night, they come up with the perfect plan: if you kill for me, I’ll kill for you.

In another part of the city, Ruth is home alone when the beautiful brownstone she shares with her husband, Scott, is invaded. She’s attacked by a man with piercing blue eyes, who disappears into the night. Will she ever be able to feel safe again while the blue-eyed stranger is out there?

Intricate, heart-racing, and from an author who “is the real deal” (Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Kill for Me, Kill for You will keep you breathless until the final page.

Clear: A novel by Carys Davies

Carys Davies (left)  debut novel West was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, runner-up for the Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, and winner of the Wales Book of the Year for Fiction. She is also the author of The Mission House, which was The Sunday Times (London) 2020 Novel of the Year, and two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Her other awards include the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award, and a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Born in Wales, she lived and worked for twelve years in New York and Chicago, and now lives in Edinburgh. Clear is her most recent novel.

“Tender, riveting, and inventive is Clear, the newest offering and masterpiece from the brilliant Carys Davies. It will take your breath away…What a thrill.” —Sarah Jessica Parker

A stunning, exquisite novel from an award-winning writer about a minister dispatched to a remote island off Scotland to “clear” the last remaining inhabitant, who has no intention of leaving—an unforgettable tale of resilience, change, and hope.

John, an impoverished Scottish minister, has accepted a job evicting the lone remaining occupant of an island north of Scotland—Ivar, who has been living alone for decades, with only the animals and the sea for company. Though his wife, Mary, has serious misgivings about the errand, he decides to go anyway, setting in motion a chain of events that neither he nor Mary could have predicted.

Shortly after John reaches the island, he falls down a cliff and is found, unconscious and badly injured, by Ivar who takes him home and tends to his wounds. The two men do not speak a common language, but as John builds a dictionary of Ivar’s world, they learn to communicate and, as Ivar sees himself for the first time in decades reflected through the eyes of another person, they build a fragile, unusual connection.

Unfolding in the 1840s in the final stages of the infamous Scottish Clearances—which saw whole communities of the rural poor driven off the land in a relentless program of forced evictions—this singular, beautiful, deeply surprising novel explores the differences and connections between us, the way history shapes our deepest convictions, and how the human spirit can survive despite all odds. Moving and unpredictable, sensitive and spellbinding, Clear is a profound and pleasurable read.

You Like It Darker: Stories by Stephen King

Stephen King (left) is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes the short story collection You Like It DarkerHollyFairy TaleBilly SummersIf It BleedsThe InstituteElevationThe OutsiderSleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of WatchFinders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark TowerItPet SemataryDoctor Sleep, and Firestarter are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

From legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary new collection of twelve short stories, many never-before-published, and some of his best EVER.

You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life—both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.

“Two Talented Bastids” explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny’s most catastrophically. In “Rattlesnakes,” a sequel to Cujo, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance—with major strings attached. In “The Dreamers,” a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. “The Answer Man” asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.

King’s ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it.

Editor´s note Here in the Sidetracks and Detours office we love it when we find a book that shares its title with songs from the American genre. You Like it Darker is a take on a Leonard Cohen song, and so joins books such Things To Do In Denver When You´re Dead, Quite Ugly One Morning and Heartache Spoken Here. This new publication from Simon & Schuster has prompted to explore that cross-over of titles more closely, so watch this space.


with Alfred Michael

Already we are in the final two days of the 2024 Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival.

With over 50 free gigs around Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley, plus 6 ticketed events at The Grand and St Mary’s Centre, RVJ & B have provided something for everyone whatever our musical tastes

Many people have arrived for the whole five day event with carefully planned itineraries. They managed to plan their routes around the festival sites by
visiting  the  website www.rvjazzfestival.co.uk where they were able to view all the gigs by venue. Lots of fans downloaded the RVJ&B easy to read guide or flicked through the online brochure.

Copies of the brochure were easily found at any of the pubs or from the information centre at St Mary’s Centre, which has been open throughout.

All of the venues have displayed the full listing of events to have been or yet to be performed there.

Fans have been able to stop a volunteer steward and use the QR code on the back of their steward badge to link through to the website.

Some fans, too, have simply relied on the full events listing on Facebook.

Loads of fans have complied with the organisers request to fill in feed-back forms after gigs. These are invaluable to RVJ&B as they let funders know how the weekend has gone and it, of course, helps to plan future years.

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival 2024

Friday 3rd May to Monday 6th May.


Live Music In Portsmouth-Menuhin Room Concert Series


preview by Newsletter

On May 11th at 12.30 pm Katie and Marios will deliver a programme that will include  both

Brahms Sonata in Eb op 120 no 2
Shostakovich Sonata op 147

Tickets: £15.   

This is the latest in a music series at the  Menuhin Room.

The performance begins at 12.30pm (doors open at noon, unreserved seating). Total running time: 90 minutes, with an interval.

Light refreshments will be available for purchase before and after the performance in the Lily & Lime Café.

Live Music


Information by newsletter

Dear NSSQ family, Exciting news! We’re just two weeks away from releasing our album “Splunge”! For two years, we’ve poured our hearts into crafting this record, and we’re thrilled to share it with you.

The opening concert of the release tour will be in a big hall: LantarenVenster Rotterdam, 10th May. It’s quite a challenge to fill this hall, especially since the pandemic, so all ‘spread the word’ among your friends and help us celebrate the release of “Splunge” in a full house!

Other tour dates (venues marked with * feature stunning stage design by Ivana Djukic):

May 10 – Rotterdam,  LantarenVenster *     May 11 – Baarle-Nassau,  PlusEtage   May 23 – Haarlem,  Pletterij May 24 – Zwolle,  Cultuurschip Thor   May 25 – Tilburg,  Paradox *  |   May 26 – Den Bosch,   Willem Twee Toonzaal * May 31 – The Hague,   De Regentes*   June 1 – Zelhem,  Het Drakenhuis   June 2 – Leuven (BE),   Sound of Violin Festival   June 5 – Groningen,   Stadsbrouwerij Martinus   June 6 – Nijmegen,   Brebl   June 8 – Utrecht,   TivoliVredenburg *   June 13 – Amsterdam,   Bimhuis *  

Live Jazz Music The Forge, Basingstoke


Sunday 19 May 2024 Previewed by Jazz In Reading


On Sunday 19 May  7:45pm there will be a rare performance from the duo of Joe Webb and Will Sach (right).   One of the most jaw-dropping jazz pianists of our time, Joe Webb is renowned for his relentless creative flow, bewildering stride playing and his authentic jazz flair. Having performed and recorded with artists including Wynton Marsalis, Jamie Cullum and Damian Lewis, Webb has now signed with Edition Records embarking on his journey as solo artist and bandleader. His charismatic music wholly embraces the jazz tradition with nods to popular music along the way.

Will Sach (double bass) was raised in the New York City Area where he grew up playing jazz and Appalachian folk music. His performance highlights include Wynton Marsalis, Kit Downes, Sam Amidon, and a featured soloist with the London Sinfonietta.

Since they started to play together in late 2021 they have toured all over the world playing Joe’s music in venues such as Ronnie Scott’s in London, Duc des Lombards in Paris, Blue Note Beijing and Blue Note Shanghai, and will be releasing new music throughout the year.

Live Jazz Music at The Forge, Basingstoke Friday 24 May  7:45pm


Previewed by Jazz In Reading  

The following week brings us the multi-award winning Antonio Forcione (left), acoustic guitarist, composer, and talented artist, is a highly charismatic and inventive performer, with his vibrant and original blend of jazz, Latin, African, and flamenco sounds.   Renowned for his virtuoso solo performances, this is a rare opportunity to catch Forcione completely on his own, when he lets his creative spirit run freely, and man and guitar become one as he showcases a mind-boggling variety of style and form, using every possible part of the musical instrument in a spectacular display of musicianship . His albums have variously topped UK and international jazz charts, and he has shared the stage worldwide with some of the world’s most accomplished musicians. Be prepared to both laugh and be moved, as he celebrates the unexpected elements in life with delicacy, humour, and not least, passion.  

Live Jazz Music at The Forge, Basingstoke Friday 31 May  7:45pm


Preview by Jazz In Reading

Grammy-nominated musician  Dr. Martin Taylor, MBE (right), is a virtuoso guitarist, composer, educator, and musical innovator, whom Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls, “THE Acoustic Guitarist of his Generation”.   Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and fingerstyle guitar playing, Martin possesses an inimitable style that has earned him global recognition from fellow musicians, fans, and critics alike. He dazzles audiences with a signature style that artfully combines his virtuosity, emotion, and humor with a strong, engaging stage presence. In addition to his own concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genres, including Jeff Beck, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, George Harrison, Jamie Cullum, Bryn Terfel, Dianne Schuur, and Gary Burton.    

Live Jazz Music: Norden Farm, Maidenhead 9 May 2024


Kurt Weill and the American Songbook Preview by Jazz In Reading  

Sam Braysher’s new project explores the work of Kurt Weill, a fascinating composer who lies at the intersection of European classical music, jazz, opera and American musical theatre. The London based jazz saxophonist, a regular performer at jazz clubs across Europe, has received international acclaim for his warm, delicate sound and deep knowledge of the standard repertoire and American Songbook. He is joined by two rising stars of London’s thriving jazz scene: Annie Majin (left), whose charming, powerful voice is inspired by Barbara Streisand and the sounds of classic Broadway shows, and Hungarian pianist Matyas Gayer, who has played accompanist to jazz legends Eddie Henderson, Jesse Davis and many others.  
Expect to hear classic songs such as “Mack The Knife”, “My Ship” and “September Song” in addition to hidden gems from the Weill catalogue and music by adjacent American Broadway composers like Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin and Harold Arlen.  
Sam Braysher – alto saxophone Annie Majin – vocals Matyas Gayer – piano

“I can’t think of another alto saxophonist with a sound quite like Sam Braysher’s” **** Dave Gelly, The Observer. 
 “Braysher’s cool, modernist twist on old songs is just superb” Simon Adams, Jazz Journal.
“The warm-toned young London saxophonist Sam Braysher is a prize-winning investigator of the early recordings and published music of Jerome Kern, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and many others, and imagines a new jazz closely attuned to an old world.”  John Fordham, The Guardian.
Web/Social Media

Live Jazz Music

Alan Cornish Theatre Oakwood Centre,

Headley Road, Woodley, Berkshire RG5 4JZ



previewed by Jazz In Reading

photo 1 Duke Ellington and his lifelong collaborator Billy Strayhorn were two of the most important creative forces in the music of the twentieth century. Their influence on classical music, popular music, and, of course, jazz, cannot be overstated. The quartet will play a wide selection from these two great composers.

One of the originators of big-band jazz, Ellington (1899 – 1974) led his band for more than half a century. He composed thousands of scores, including staples of the repertoire such as ‘Mood Indigo’, ‘Sophisticated Lady’ and ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’. Over five decades, The Duke created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in all of Western Music.

Strayhorn (1915 – 1967) joined Ellington’s band in 1939, at the age of twenty four. By the end of the year he was arranging, composing and sitting-in at the piano. His compositions include the jazz classics ‘Lush Life’, ‘Take The A Train’ and ‘Lotus Blossom’, all recorded by Ellington’s band across a 30 year musical partnership. He was inducted in to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984.

Strayhorn is like Beethoven – every note he wrote seems inevitable.”

THE MIKE GOFF QUARTET photo above details below

Ewen Baird tenor saxophone
Martin Pickett piano
Howard King double bass
Mike Goff drums

Enquiries: 07728 547603Cliff Colnot,

Resident Conductor, Civic Orchestra of Chicago

On air sign background

Jazz On The Radio


presented by Steve Bewick

With other Hot Biscuits this week we will be serving Memories Of Charles Mingus from the 8 piece `Mingus Project` led by Cameron Saint. This is a recording of a performing at the Tallulah`s Emporium, Wallasey. Curtesy of Michael Hughes. Great sounds and memories.

We will also be featuring a new piece of music from Olivia Moore’s Unfurl.

Listeners are sure to enjoy Mårten Lundgren with his Big B Goes Small.

We will have a Moon dance from the Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra before closing the show with Elijah Shiffer with a Sky Dance Over 6th Avenue.

If this looks interesting follow me and then PASS IT ON

www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick/ 24/07


A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward

DAVID MALLET & Westhoughton Folk Club

by Peter Pearson

David Mallett is an American singer songwriter born in 1951. In the same way that most music lovers of a certain age know a John Stewart song (Daydream Believer, made popular by the Monkees) so the same might be said of David Mallett with his folk standard “Garden Song”.The opening lyrics to which are:

Inch by inch, row by row

Gonna make this garden grow

All it takes is a rake and hoe

And a piece of fertile ground

It has been recorded by John Denver, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Muppets and many, more including, of course, Dave himself.

The song came to him when, in his early twenties, he was helping his father plant the garden at his Maine home. At the time he had only written a couple or so other songs and this helped him establish a long lasting singer songwriter career.

A native of Maine and except for a few brief periods, continuing to live there, Dave started in music at the early age of 10 when he formed a band with his brother Neil. They would give renditions of songs by the Kingston Trio and famous country artists.

After leaving University he resolved to start a solo career. As Dave tells it, it was Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary who gave him his first big break in 1975. Dave read in the local paper that Stookey was building a recording studio in Maine. “I was fed up with playing in bars and thought I had more to offer than playing background music. Paul was so gracious. I called him out of the blue, and he said, ‘Come visit.’ I dropped in, and they were doing some carpentry on his place. I handed him a tape and, by gosh, he listened to it. When I went to see him again, he said, ‘Let’s do a record.’ He provided me with a free studio and a small budget. He also mailed the album to all of his friends and spread the word.”

Stookey then went on to produce and promote his first three albums. On the back of those albums he started to tour nationally and had several of his songs recorded by John Denver. In 1985, he was invited to play the newly re-launched Newport Folk Festival alongside acts like Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, and Taj Mahal. It was in Newport that he met Nashville producer Jim Rooney, who invited him to record his next record with an A-list of session players in the Music City.

Jim Rooney had recently set up his Forerunner Music Group in Nashville and it was to there that Dave Mallett relocated with wife and family. Dave became one of the jobbing songwriters and performers in the group which included Pat Alger and Hal Ketchum. He played songwriter circles with the likes of Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett and honed his performing and writing skills. He recorded a couple of albums with Jim Rooney and had his songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart and Kathy Mattea but his resistance to conform to what Nashville demanded from him, which was to become more of a country singer, caused him to return to Maine. He explained in his own words:”I found I was getting overburdened with twang and dollar signs.”  Many songwriters have felt the same way.

It was after his return from Nashville that he came to my attention. In 1997 I had just started to make a regular Friday evening visit to Westhoughton Folk Club where they were featuring USA touring artists such as Tom Russell and Katy Moffatt, in addition to the homegrown folk artists. The opening act was always Auld Triangle (left) whose female lead singer was also the Club booker and organiser. On my first visit she opened by saying here’s a Dave Mallett song – The Summer Of My Dreams. I was hooked. Dave was booked for later in the season and was a regular visitor. Exploring his catalogue, I bought his latest live album “Parallel Lives”. It was his first post Nashville album and contained all his classic songs to date. Anyone wanting to explore his music should start with this one. Recorded live in a rustic folk club, DelRossi’s in small town Dublin, New Hampshire, it is exactly what you get when you see him in concert. All his best songs are there.

I went to see him at Westhoughton a few weeks later and the place was packed. Solo acoustic he delivered a two hour set of stories and songs. He appeared there every year in the following nine years and it was he that performed at the club’s final closing concert in 2007. I went to see him on each occasion. It was always a sell out. His UK booking agent was John Graeme Livingstone, a mutual acquaintance of Norman and myself and he drove Dave around the country on his UK tours, so I would usually have a pre-show chat with him. The closure of the club seemed to coincided with the end of Dave’s UK touring schedule. His appearances in the UK had always been predominantly on the Folk Club circuit and, like Westhoughton, many of those were also closing their doors.

His second live album “Midnight On The Water” was released in 2006 on his own label North Road Records. Recorded as a trio with Michael Burd (right, with Dave) on Bass and Susan Ramsey on fiddle and viola it captures the passion of his live performance. It features some marvelous fiddle playing on his classic, The Ballad of St.Anne’s Reel.

In 2007 he released “The Fable True”, subtitled “Stories from Thoreau’s The Maine Woods.” It is a spoken word project in which he recites passages from the book over folk music tracks on which he plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica, with Michael Burd joining in on bass (and guitar on one track), and Susan Ramsey on violin and viola. Quite different from anything he has done before. It is not every fan’s cup of tea but here is an extract from one reviewer:

“He hasn’t tried to make songs out of The Maine Woods. The Fable True is spoken word and what he is speaking was written as prose. Still listening to it is like hearing a book of poems beautifully read aloud.”

His last album “Celebration” was released in 2017. It is a fine album and up there with his best. At 73 he continues to tour in the States whilst based on his Maine ranch. His sons perform and record as The Mallett Brothers Band. Formed in 2009 they are a roots rock band with popular appeal particularly in the USA.

Island Insights


concert review by Norman Warwick

There are a number of reasons why we love to attend the concerts that seem to have become a regular item this year at El Fondeadero in Puerto Del Carmen. Reason one is that we can drive up from Playa Blanca to Puerto Calero in time to catch the last water taxi up to Puerto Del Carmen. Another reason is that said Water Taxi drops us off at 4.15pm right outside La Veleta restaurant by the harbour. That leaves us two and half hours for a lovely, lazy meal and drinks before we walk the twenty yards to the theatre to find two seats near the front. Dee passed the time with a vegetable risotto and I enjoyed beautiful fillet steak sliced in a sauce. We left quite a long while before ordering the apple tart ´to die for´ as a dessert. All this was served by a chirpy and respectful waiter, as he took our orders and delivered our meals. With several tables taken by people who sounded like ´locals´ there was a hum of conversation, and some Spanish music on the radio, or Spotify.

The panorama of the harbour, under an endless blue sky, and the comings and goings of the row boats, sail boats and motor boats, commercial boats and sleek, deep sea fishing boats was simply a haven.

The ride across the water, after parking our car at Puerto Del Carmen, had been a little bit up and down.

We have reported on these pages recently that one of the island´s most loved musicians, Iya Zhmaeva, recently delivered a violin recital with her son Diego Bermudez, (also on the violin) and Javier Diaz, Diego´s mentor at The Conservatoire in Arrecife, on the piano. We hope our review conveyed how impressed we were, both with the music selection and the beauty of its playing.

I was perhaps being fanciful when I thought I could detect something in the sound of the two violins that put me in mind of the vocal harmonies of The Everly Brothers. Nevertheless, I have read so many theories about how and why Don and Phil Everly´s vocals were so wonderful. I think they deliver in what the experts call ´vocal slides´.  And yet the harmony is so close as to be almost a mirror, or echo, perhaps. When I listen to All I Have To Do Is Dream I can even “hear” the potential harmony in my head and I think that’s a big component of their sound. I hear what I think is a lot of sliding in Till I Kissed You yet neither of these songs reveal how the voices fit so perfectly.

I have heard people talk about how The Everly Brothers sing in minor 2 chords, whatever they are,  and some experts think that explains why the harmonies, on their songs like Ebony Eyes sound so forlorn and mysterious.

We have an interview scheduled with Diego and we look forward to asking him whether he feels anything ´special´ arising in the sound their instruments make together when playing alongside his mother Iya.

Tonight´s concert programme differs from that of a couple of weeks ago. Here we had Handel, and Spanish sounds of Turina´s Sonata 2 for violin and piano.

Spanish sauces also dribble over Romanza Adaluza composed by de Sarasate, as well as in de Monasterio, Adios a la Alhambra, de Falla´s Spanish Dance from La Vida Breve. Whenever Iya and Diego were playing together I found myself listening in parallel to this beautiful classical music that seemed to anticipate what Don and Phil Everly would do with their voices a couple of hundred years or more later.

Then when the musicians played notably the Spanish pieces I found myself thinking of the old string bands I used to love from the Appalachian mountains, often centred around family members playing together.

The term “Appalachian music” is in truth an artificial category, created and defined by a small group of scholars in the early twentieth century, but bearing only a limited relationship to the actual musical activity of people living in the Appalachian Mountains. Since the region is not only geographically, but also ethnically and musically diverse (and has been since the early days of European settlement there) music of the Appalachian Mountains is as difficult to define as is American music in general.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing into the 1920s, nearly all of the early scholarship on Appalachian music focused on “ballad-hunting” or “song-catching,” the discovery of New World variants of ballads and other songs that had originated in the British Isles. Francis James Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1898) served as the canonical text.  One of the most famous of the ballad hunters was Cecil Sharp. He and others helped create an unassailable historical connection between some of the songs of Appalachia and those of the British Isles.

The story of Appalachian music is very similar to the story of music across America, where musicians have never cared much for categories or purity of lineage, but have eagerly mined whatever styles and forms felt suitable for the raw material of new adaptations.

The music played in El Fondeadero tonight, in Puerto Del Carmen, was at times serene and slow and at other times sprightlier, more frivolous and romantic in tone. The pace was lifted when Eva Aroco introduced us to the sounds made by the castañuelas (an instrument that is a sibling of the castanets, but offering a lightly more precise sound).

Castañuelas are a percussion musical instrument, made up of two pieces of wood joined by a cord. They were already known by the Phoenicians three thousand years ago. Other people, such as the Egyptians, used them along with sistrums and crotalos, a similar percussion instrument, in funerary and religious rituals such as the Sed Festival. This hand held percussion was also used as magical instruments of protection against evil spirits during birth. Originally they could be elongated, straight or curved in wood or ivory material and with some figurative motif.

Thanks to trade, they expanded throughout the Mediterranean countries , such as present-day Croatia , or southern Italy, although Spain is the country that has best preserved castanets, developing their use, being one of the national instruments, like the Spanish, classical or flamenco guitar. Other countries where castanets have traditionally been important are Portugal and Persia and Germany .

I return to my first thought, however, that these seemed to offer a more precisely clipped sound than in the castanets, but maybe that precision is all in the playing.

Eva did not employ the sound to invite or accompany flamenco but to somehow add another layer of gaiety to the ensemble playing.

With Javier sure-footedly striding down alleyways and avenues on the piano and Iya and Diego playing off one another in classical music, they created, in my heart and mind anyway, echoes of The Everly Brothers  and Appalachian mountain music comprised of family bands in nearly every household, these four musicians here on Lanzarote gave us divine concert.

Although mother and son combinations would have been heard frequently in the string bands of the Appalachians I am not aware of  such partnerships in the classical music genre in which Iya and Diego and their friends excel.

This superb concert showcased their skills perfectly. Iya has an incredible ability to fade a note and let it hang in the air, and Diego seems confortable and innovative in whatever tempo he is playing.

The entire audience rose to a standing ovation to bring the quartet back to play again, reflecting the buzz that had emanated from the audience throughout the performance.

We stepped outside, and walked to the front of the building where a taxi was waiting (just for us, it seemed), so we jumped in and asked the driver to take us back to our car in Puerto Calero. This he did at Lewis Hamilton speed. Still, he got us there in the nick of time, because the sun had not quite got into bed yet, so I was able to drive home in a good driving-light. We were home for dead on nine o´clock just in time to hear Hislop and Merton asking me Have I Got News For You?

We have more interesting stories next week, so come join us and follow your art. We have booked a ride in a Death Cab For Cutie as we look at the state of The Postal Service. We will also look at what Paste magazine calls the unparalleled career of Dickey Beets, and the following day we´ll be opening The Jazz Junction, our new speakeasy for all things jazz. We will then follow the yellow brick road, exiting stage left, passing by the cinema and reading all the Baum´s book about The Wizard Of Oz. All this will be posted as free to read material on our not for profit blog site. And don´t forget that our link also gives you FREE access to almost 1,200 articles in our easy to negotiate archives. So, we´ll look out for you somewhere down the sidetracks and detours.


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